Fire 0 Red Bulls 0 - Game Recap and Player Ratings

The sight of five designated players on the pitch at one time never materialized and the result was somewhat anti-climactic but the Fire hope that the first half of tonight's match will be more indicative of things to come.  Freddie Ljungberg impressed in the first 45 minutes with several runs and near misses that didn't quite materialize into scores.  The Fire didn't produce a shot on target in the first half but did challenge the Red Bulls with all three of their designated players on the field.

New York controlled a majority of the second half and the Fire seldom retaliated with any real threat to score.  Despite losing Thierry Henry just before half time to a muscle strain, the Red Bulls came out and controlled possesion and had the bulk of the scoring chances.   Another outstanding performance by rookie keeper Sean Johnson salvaged the point for the home side.

 

Player Ratings

Sean Johnson (7) - Johnson has cemented himseld as the starting goalkeeper.  Several big saves (7 total) kept New York off the score board.  Johnson was also vocal and seemingly in control of his backline.  Probably man of the match for the second consecutive week.  An impressive feat considering the amount of talent on the pitch tonight.

Dasan Robinson (6) - Johnson did well in the first half to combat Henry on several occasions.  Was subbed out in the 59th in favor of Steve Kinney possibly due to fatigue or the fact that Henry had departed and De Los Cobos was more comfortable with the rookie against an Henry-less attack.

Krzyzstof Krol (5) - Struggled a bit against Dane Richards and Mac Kandji.  He was probably the weakest of the Fire defenders tonight.

CJ Brown (5) - Henry went by him like a blur at one point in the first half resulting in a shot on goal but otherwise Brown was effective enough against the Henry-Angel combination to keep them scoreless (although Johnson had alot to do with that). 

Wilman Conde (6) - Conde seemed more like the defender that has earned back to back MLS All Star appearances.  Stayed home most of the night and really only had one error, an 80th minute muff that resulted in a Juan Pablo Angel shot that went wide.

Logan Pause (6) - Pause played a commendable game against a dangerous New York attack.  Provided a huge blocked shot in the 87th minute on a clear look near the top of the box.

Baggio Husidic (5) - Played the entire match as a second defensive midfielder next to Pause.  Disappeared in the second half.

Marco Pappa (5) - Seemed a little bit off his game and never really got into a dangerous position to score.  Had three shots at goal but only one was harmlessly on net in the 51st minute.  Not one of Pappa's better efforts.

Mike Banner (5) - De Los Cobos loves his effort but the drop off from Nyarko to Banner is more than substantial.  Despite the effort, he's a turnover machine with the ball at his feet. Missed a good look at goal on a feed from McBride in the 14th minute.

Freddie Ljungberg (7) - Was involved in just about every dangerous effort on the Fire's side.  Nearly missed his first Fire goal on a sliding attempt off a cross from McBride in the first half.  Not as effective in the second half as the Fire seemed to have trouble holding possesion.

Brian McBride (6) - Involved in a few dangerous chances as the feeder rather than the scorer.  Subbed out in the 56th minute for Castillo.  McBride played well and probably would have been better served to stay in the match with Castillo rather than being replaced by him.

Nery Castillo (5) - Seems to still be trying to regain his fitness.  Hasn't played a competitive match in some time, that combined with the need to gain familiarity with teammates resulted in little real danger from Castillo.  Offsides several times.

Steve Kinney (5) - Came on for Robinson in the 59th minute.  The entire team struggled to gain possesion in the second half and Kinney was not as impressive as he has been in previous efforts.

Deris Umanzor (NR) - Came on in the 91st minute for Pappa.  Not enough time to really rate.

Post Game

De Los Cobos was asked about the decision to start Brian McBride over Collins John and his answer was a bit surprising.  "Even though Collins John scored in the last match I think he did not play good.  My role as a coach is to demand that the players give 100%...in practice and training Collins does not give us what we need.  This player has big qualities but he doesn't play good.  I need to put on the field eleven players with a very good fitness level and a very good attitude."  Ouch.

You can hear the entire De Los Cobos press conference on the Fire Confidential podcast page here.   

Big Crowd

The attendance was 21,868.

Comments

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  • Only a 7 for johnon? He deserves an 11 on a 1-10 point scale.

  • In reply to fanaddict:

    Probably could have gone with an 8 for Johnson. Maybe if he would've scored a goal. :)

  • In reply to cesba:

    CJ played terrible last night. He looked completely lost the entire match. Terrible defending, miss communication all night, didn't win one headball. He was lucky that Johnson was there...

  • In reply to cesba:

    The only thing worse than a bad player is a bad player with a lot of confidence. Mike Banner thinks he can beat any defender but really he cant even dribble in bounds. He offers nothing to this team and hopefully he finds himself deep on the bench coming up. I would have liked to see Nery come in for Baggio and moved Freddie back deeper. But Castillo wasn't very effective because no one was playing him the ball when they needed too. I think the players around him have never seen runs like the ones he was making. He was all over the place and if people would have played him the ball at the right time or at all he would have been a lot more effective. Freddie played really well and we will be dangerous for sure in the future. Logan played really well today also.

    CJ played his worse game in 2 years tonight. He looked like he had no idea what to do tonight. Random kicking the ball nowhere. Terrible, slow defending in 1v1 situation. Miss communication all night long. We got beat on every headball in the box tonight and are lucky Johnson is playing the way he is or we would have lost last week and again this week.

    Oh and if I wasn't clear enough in the beginning of this, MIKE BANNER BLOWS...

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    yeah i noticed the Fire got beat on anything in the air as well.

    banner has to be the most frustrating player to watch as a fan. turnover after turnover, the speed & workrate he brings just doesnt make up for that, IMO. plus he really lays off way too much on his defensive marking

    sean johnson - what can you say about him? 2nd MLS start, against 2 of the best goal-scoring teams in the MLS, and still hasnt given up a non-pk goal. just incredible

    its gonna take some time for ljungberg and castillo to gel with the team, & we still havent seen our best 11 on the field yet. at this pt in the season, can the CDLC really afford to sit collins john to prove some sort of point about his training work ethic?

    the last 15-20 minutes of the game were pathetic because it looked like the 2nd half of the LA game, very little chicago possession, and most NYRB possession was in chicagos defensive third of the field

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    It is painful to see Banner out there; it makes me cringe. The only reason why the immortal Mike Banner is out there because Patrick Nyarko has a concussion. If Nyarko was 100 percent healthy, Mike Banner wouldn't be on the field at all.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Sean Johnson's brother, Jarret playing basketball on a fabulous dunk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiRws-8H-9k

  • In reply to cesba:

    Too bad we didn't keep the intensity we showed at the beginning of the game!
    McBride and Brown are subs off the bench to bring in vet leadership but we have to go with the younger legs. (Colin & Kwame).
    Freddie played his heart out and almost had the goal to make all his work pay off!
    Sega is back!!! We are primed to climb to the top now!!!

  • In reply to smiley:

    i don't think they can afford to start kwame. he was so bad in the monarcas morelia game, i'm not sure his inexperience wouldn't be more of a burden than CJs slowness

  • In reply to smiley:

    Red Bulls player ratings from Kristian Dyer

    http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/rbny-player-ratings-vs-chicago

  • In reply to cesba:

    Holy Cow!!! It is the exact same format.

  • In reply to smiley:

    McBride and ljungberg made a great pair up top with the way they ran and passed off eachother. When it comes down to abillity, work ethic, passing, and decision making, I'd take mcbride over John any day. John's only advantage is speed, and when ljungberg and nery are playing behind I'm not sure how important speed is.

  • In reply to smiley:

    Was Castillo's grade a 5 due to the fireworks (don't know what management was thinking on that front) or is that his fitness level on a scale of 1-10? He clearly has a LONG way to go on that front.

    No grade for the coach Guillermo?

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Castillo hasn't trained or played competitively for 5-6 weeks so it's going to take some time to round into shape.

    I haven't graded the coach all season, it's something I probably should have added since day one.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Let's start now, what would your grade be?

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Yesterday....probably a 4.
    The McBride for Castillo move was a bit of a head scratcher for me. Banner should have been removed at some point. Little was done to combat New York's dominant second half. I would have liked to have seen McBride stay in the match with Castillo. Pause and Husidic both played central mid....without Henry and Marquez in the match Husidic probably could have been subbed out for Castillo. Or if he was insistent on two d-mids, Banner could have been removed moving Ljungberg to the wing while Castillo played behind McBride.

  • In reply to DerSting:

    On another note.....
    Gonzalo Segares was in the house last night. Will start training this week.

  • In reply to cesba:

    In other news coming from the post game presser....
    Frank Klopas says that the Fire may be ready to sign one or two of their academy players to home grown contracts within a week or so.

  • In reply to fanaddict:

    Towards the 90th minute, an attendee (I can't call him a fan, Fire jersey or not) unleashed a verbal tirade against Marco Pappa as he has leaving the pitch. The person continued to wlak out of the seats toward the concourse, screaming at Pappa, saying how awful of a player he was, etc. Several people started to yell at the guy, but none more loud than Thor! John was sitting in the seats and came to the vocal defense of his teammate- man I was he was on the field! Thanks Thor!

  • In reply to MyOwnBobblehead:

    As soon as he's back I propose we change his nickname to "The Mighty Thor"

  • In reply to fanaddict:

    John not playing well, has De los Moron looked at how well Banner is playing?
    Can't see how either Krol and Banner got a 5, both played sub-par games, at least
    compared to the rest of the team. Overall grade for the game should be a 4.
    Only reason the Fire didn't get their butt kicked is due to the efforts of Freddie and Sean.
    What this team needs is a competent coach, they get better players and look worse,
    poor spacing and shape for most of the game. No attack on the left side, long goalie punts
    is not exactly attacking soccer.

  • In reply to fanaddict:

    I actually thought Krol was ok last night. I've become a fan of Baggio, but last night was tough to watch him play. Freddie did play well given his short time with the team. McBride- I'm always amazed at how good this guy actually is- wish he still had legs for the national team.

  • In reply to MyOwnBobblehead:

    Krol completely shut down Kanji in the first half, completely took him out of his game. Second half was a different story with Richards, but it wasn't an awful performance. Richards is fast, he gets by guys, it happens.

  • In reply to MyOwnBobblehead:

    Fire player ratings from American Soccer News
    http://fire.american-soccer-news.com/?p=761

  • In reply to MyOwnBobblehead:

    The guys on Extra Time radio discuss the game and the aftermath...

    http://www.mlssoccer.com/videos?catid=1916&id=7709

  • In reply to cesba:

    those guys sure seemed to like Banner

    can't understand why, he breaks up more chicago attacks than the opposing defensive mid

  • Sean was amazing tonight.

    And wow, harsh words from Carlos to Collins. That's kinda crazy but awesome, how it should be.

  • In reply to Warren:

    And yet he plays Castillo who is nowhere near match fit,(looks like he had a bit of a gut out there) guess you can't give DP money to someone sitting on the bench due to lack of fitness...

  • In reply to DerSting:

    Playing Castillo for 30 minutes when he's not fully match fit is not the same situation as sitting a guy who he feels is not putting out in training.

    De Los Cobos also called out Pappa and sat him earlier in the season. Seemed to work with Pappa.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Castillo was clearly not ready yesterday and was ushered in, with fireworks I might add, due to the DP money he is being paid. So on that front there is a difference. Management knew of his lack of fitness and still went ahead on the marketing front. Fit or not he will see his time.

    DLC should not say post game that "I need to put on the field eleven players with a very good fitness level and a very good attitude" after putting in someone who is not for fiscal reasons.

    John should be called out is he is not cutting it in practice but there should be a level of consistency, too many mixed messages out there.

  • In reply to DerSting:

    What was wrong with what Castillo did? Did you see the runs he was making. With better skilled players and more time to gel with the current group he would have had atleast 2 breakaways last night. He was making runs that these players had never seen before. They just weren't getting him the ball. If he continues to play like last night, he will be a very good player for us. All we need to do is give him the ball.

  • In reply to cesba:

    The bottom line is that the Fire will not be championship contenders while Banner is in the line up.
    Any moron can take the current Fire team to the playoffs (and he probably will) but that doesn't mean they will get that far. If he wanted another def. mid. he could have Lowry ready on the bench, at least
    he knows what to do with the ball and hold his position.
    I believe that the Fire could have won starting John (or another attacking player) rather than Banner, at least it would have a player on the field with some speed and ball skills.
    In the second half the players seemed recluctant to attack on the left side, eventhough most of the time there was open space, it seemed they were avoiding passing the ball to Banner.

  • In reply to lonecoyote:

    We haven't seen Lowry in 2 months and he isn't going to replace Pause or Husidic. Nobody should be replacing Pause and the only player replacing Husidic should be Freddie or Thorrington.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Lowery could replace Banner

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    My favorite quote of the night..."Awwww there was nothing there"

    Give up.....when Henry shoved Brown to the ground (if it wasn't brown, then i apologize), this was the ESPN reaction.

    I had to laugh, because the alternative was becoming irate as ever over the kissing butt from the espn announcers to henry and marquez all game.

  • In reply to Drb1681:

    it was Robinson

  • In reply to Drb1681:

    Lets get Calen Carr's skinny ass in there on the left side. I bet he can get blasted even further out of bounds than Banner, without getting a call. It would be very entertaining.

    Do they have a rule against headbands like the Bulls?

  • In reply to Drb1681:

    it was dasan robinson. and i laughed when they were walking back up the field, and thierry henry said to dasan "you ok?" and dasan kinda shrugged, extended his arms and shook his head as if to say "sorry man, i don't speak french"

  • In reply to Drb1681:

    That's what's gonna SUCK about New York having star power now. MLS and that general crowd is gonna be pushing them harder than the Trib pushes the Blackhypes.

  • In reply to cesba:

    Martin O'Neill is available, when opportunity knocks...

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